MBA: Mortgage Applications Decline as Mortgage Rates Jump

February 9, 2011 (Chris Moore)
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The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 4, 2011. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 3.9 percent compared with the previous week. The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 0.9 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1.4 percent from one week earlier. The four week moving average is down 0.8 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 4.8 percent compared with the previous week and was 16.6 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The Refinance Index decreased 7.7 percent from the previous week. The four week moving average is down 1.5 percent.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 66.6 percent of total applications from 69.3 percent the previous week. This is the lowest refinance share since the beginning of May 2010.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.9 percent from 5.5 percent of total applications from the previous week.

Mortgage rates increased last week as many incoming economic indicators continue to show stronger growth than had been anticipated. Refinance volume continues to be low, as fewer homeowners with equity have any incentive to refinance,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “We are at the beginning of the spring buying season, but purchase volume remains weak on a seasonally adjusted basis.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages jumped to 5.13 percent from 4.81 percent, with points decreasing to 0.84 from 1.02 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The effective rate increased from last week. This is the highest 30 year rate since the second week of April 2010. The 32 basis point jump in interest rate is the largest rate increase since June 2009.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate increased to 4.29 percent from 4.13 percent last week, with points increasing to 1.02 from 1.01 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. This is also the highest 15 year rate since the beginning of May 2010. The effective rate also increased from last week.

Tags: MBA, home purchase applications, mortgage rates, fixed rate mortgage, adjustable rate mortgage, refinance, interest rate